Pump station repairs will
close some areas at Pea Island
pumping unit at this location historically provided much needed
water-level management capabilities for half the
managed acreage on this refuge. By manipulating water
levels in North Pond, managers have affected growth of aquatics and
submerged aquatic plants, which are a valuable food source for
migrating and wintering waterfowl, as well as a variety of other
The pump station was destroyed by a dike breach during Hurricane Irene
in 2011. Since then, water levels and salt content have been at
the mercy of rain and storm overwash events.
The refuge was funded to replace the pump station at North Pond and
contract with Ducks Unlimited to perform the work. Unfortunately,
just two weeks after the repair was completed, the power unit caught
fire and was destroyed again. This year, funding has been
provided to replace the pump station again, with Duck Unlimited funding
approximately half the money needed to complete the project.
Again, the contract was awarded to Ducks Unlimited for the work, which
is expected to begin Aug. 31 and be completed within 90
days. This repair will restore management capabilities for
approximately 500 acres, providing a means to manage water levels
within the impoundment.
For the duration of the project, the dike area in the immediate
vicinity of the pump station will be closed to the public. North
Pond Wildlife Trail, which runs from Highway 12 near the Visitor Center
to the southwest corner of the pond will remain open. This trail
ends at the double-decker overlook. Normally, visitors are
encouraged to walk north on the North Pond Service Road. However, this
Service Road will be closed for the duration of the repair work.
On the north end of North Pond, visitors may walk as far as the
northwest corner of the Service Road. The closed area will be
Assistant Refuge Manager Art Beyer says, "We hate that public
entry will be restricted during the fall migration, but we're excited
that this will mean much improved habitat for the next season.
So, we encourage folks to come back next year and see all the
For more information about Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, visit the website at www.fws.gov/refuge/pea_island, or call 252-473-1131, ext. 224.